House Unanimously Approves LGBTQ Fix to Tax Code
The House of Representatives has approved the Promoting Respect for Individuals’ Dignity and Equality (PRIDE) Act of 2019. The bill will allow same-sex couples who married before the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court to claim federal tax refunds that may have accrued to them. It would also remove language like “husband” and “wife” from the tax code to accommodate same-sex couples, letting taxpayers instead use terms such as “spouse” and “married couple” in their tax filings.
PRIDE fixes the tax code to permit same-sex couples who married before the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down in 2013 to claim the tax refunds to which they’re entitled. For years, same-sex couples in states that recognized legal marriage were denied federal refunds because DOMA didn’t let them file federal taxes jointly. The Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor overturned DOMA, but the IRS did not have the statutory authority to override limitations in the tax code that restricted to three years the period within which a married couple can file jointly after having filed separate returns. PRIDE would correct that to permit the IRS to give refunds to same-sex couples who married in states that recognized same-sex marriage before DOMA was overturned.
It also allows same-sex couples who married in states before the repeal of DOMA to go back and refile past taxes as a married couple, something they have been prevented from doing even after the repeal of DOMA by an IRS restriction that only allows married couples who filed separately to refile returns going back three years. This new legislature provides greater equality for families across our country.